Krungthai claims Energy Earth forged loan papers

Krungthai claims Energy Earth forged loan papers

COO & Executive Director Phiroon Phihakendr of Energy Earth. Krungthai Bank claims the company has used forged documents to obtain loans. (File photos)
COO & Executive Director Phiroon Phihakendr of Energy Earth. Krungthai Bank claims the company has used forged documents to obtain loans. (File photos)

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is looking into a case in which a coal importer is accused of using forged documents to obtain loans from Krungthai Bank (KTB).

DSI director-general Pol Col Paisit Wongmuang said Tuesday that the bank has found evidence that Energy Earth Plc used allegedly forged bills of lading for coal shipments from Indonesia.

The bank forwarded the details to the DSI, which concluded the matter was worth investigating.

The case involves an offence committed overseas, Pol Col Paisit said, adding public prosecutors from the Office of the Attorney-general have also joined the DSI in the probe.

Pol Col Paisit said he has assigned Pol Lt Col Pakorn Sucheevakun, director of the DSI's bureau of financial and banking crime, to lead the investigation team.

A DSI source said KTB launched a probe into a loan of more than 12 billion baht that the bank granted to Earth Energy after the company defaulted on payments worth almost 1.8 billion baht between the middle of this year and November.

The source said the company has been plagued with a lack of liquidity, running up debts of more than 47 billion baht, prompting the company's board to apply to enter a rehabilitation programme with the Bankruptcy Court.

Somchai Sujjapongse, permanent secretary for finance, who is also chairman of KTB, earlier said the bank had checked with the Customs Department about the suspicious coal import documents before it made the decision to file a complaint with the DSI.

An executive at the company refused to comment on Mr Somchai's remark, citing a desire to keep silent while the rehabilitation plan takes shape.

SET-listed Energy Earth submitted a rehabilitation petition through the Central Bankruptcy Court on July 24 because the company had liabilities in excess of assets totalling 26 billion baht, resulting from prosecution action by suppliers. It had total assets of 31.8 billion baht and total liabilities of 47.5 billion, according to the company's revised statement submitted to the SET and released on Aug 1.

KTB president Payong Srivanich earlier said Energy Earth owed the bank total debt plus interest of 12 billion baht.

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